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11 killed as India’s monsoon death toll swells

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A rickshaw puller walks past a whirlpool from an open manhole in floodwaters following rain in Kolkata on July 30, 2021. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP)

Eleven people were killed in eastern India after torrential rains swept away homes and triggered landslides, officials said Saturday, taking the country’s monsoon death toll above 230.

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Rainstorms that have swept across the nation lashed the eastern state of West Bengal causing widespread destruction.

Four people were electrocuted after rain gushed into their homes in Howrah and North 24 Parganas district, state disaster management minister Javed Khan told AFP.

Seven people died when their houses were washed away by downpours, he said, with several still missing.

In neighbouring Jharkhand state, scores of cars remain submerged in floodwaters after five days of heavy rain.

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Experts say climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of annual monsoon storms between June and September.

Western Maharashtra state has been hit by severe rainstorms, with landslides sending torrents of mud onto villages and killing at least 200 people.

The northern Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also been badly hit.

Seven people were killed in a landslide in Himachal Pradesh this week and another seven people died in an intense storm that hit the remote village of Honzar in Indian Kashmir.

Several tourists remain stranded in the two states, with debris blocking key routes.

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